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Competency based learning for uptime elements


Introduction to Competency based learning (Cbl)

According to the Uptime Elements Dictionary for Reliability Leaders and Asset Managers these definitions may be useful:

Competence (competent): The ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results.

Competency: Knowledge, awareness, skills and abilities required to perform a task or job safely and consistently to a required standard. The ability of the learner to achieve these would render them Competent.

Competency-Based Learning (CBL): A cluster of related abilities, knowledge and skills that enable a person or an organization to act effectively in a wide variety of job situations.Learning techniques focus more on outcomes as observable behaviors. An Uptime element.

In Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System, competency-based learning [Cbl] creates a foundation for the reliability journey [RJ] and is designed to ensure that your investment in people supports the achievement of the aim, organizational objectives and strategic goals of the enterprise.

Competency based learning is used to:

  • Develop reliability leaders at every level of the organization;
  • Engage and empower stakeholders across the organization;
  • Align behavior with the aim, organizational objectives and strategic goals;
  • Maximize the people advantage to leverage technical and business process advantages of the organization;
  • Install a consistent language of reliability and asset management;
  • Clarify job and work expectations;
  • Hire the best people available;
  • Adapt to change.

In the context of the Uptime Elements, competency-based learning is based on a competency model, using the Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System as that model.

Leadership for Reliability Domain Uptime ElementsLeadership for Reliability Domain Uptime Elements


The Structure of an Uptime Elements Competency Based Learning System

In his book, The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge outlines the five disciplines of a learning organization. When designing your competency based learning system, much can be gained by ensuring you are addressing all five disciplines in some way that is appropriate for your organizational context.

  1. Systems thinking
  2. Mental models
  3. Shared vision
  4. Personal mastery
  5. Team learning


Skills vs. Competencies

Just to be clear, let’s distinguish between skills and competencies. The two terms are interrelated and are often (unfortunately) used interchangeably.

In its simplest terms, a skill defines a learned activity. Writing an email is a skill. So is flying a fighter jet. Knowing which skills an employee has helps us understand which workplace activities he or she is equipped to perform.

Competencies Are Bigger Than Skills

Competencies encompass the skills and proficiencies (knowledge, abilities, expertise) of job performance. They are the cumulative fundamental knowledge and abilities or expertise within a specific subject area.


High Reliability Organizations Core Business PracticesHigh Reliability Organizations Core Business Practices


High Reliability Organizations Use Competency-Based Learning to Encourage a Positive Company Culture

A positive company culture is a sign that the organization values and invests in their employees. Many times, feeling valued as an employee means that the employee’s view of their competency and performance aligns with the company’s expectations.

When competency gaps exist for certain employees, teams, or entire departments, that difference in expectation versus reality begins to become clear, putting stress on employees, managers, and leadership.

A competency model based on the Uptime Elements identifies the skills, knowledge and characteristics needed to be an effective reliability leader and exercise reliability leadership as a natural self-expression.

Below is an example of an Uptime Elements Competency Based Learning Roadmap from Beta Corporations five year Asset Management Strategy and Plan.

Beta Corporations five year Asset Management Strategy and Plan.Beta Corporations five year Asset Management Strategy and Plan.


Competency Based Learning Examples

Competition, market conditions and an aging workforce have made competency based learning an imperative for many organizations if they are to survive.As these companies go lean and take aggressive actions to reduce costs, the need to maintain the same or higher levels of productivity with fewer people requires those who remain to have the needed skills, knowledge and reliability leadership traits.

Hand's on digitalization strategy exercise


Why Not Just Train? The iForgetReliability Training Curve

After three days people forget more than 30% of the 'knowledge" they learned in training.

After seven days people forget more than 70% of the 'knowledge" they learned in training.

Forgetting is not the learner's fault. People often forget because it was never actually learned in the first place.

To learn, the brain builds on existing knowledge. That is why the practice available in the Applied Learning Sessions from the Reliability Leadership Institute are critical success factors in Reliability Leadership Competency Development.

Knowing_Being_Doing Reliability Leadership

It is also why Uptime Element Domain Mastery Belt projects are encouraged to begin within 120 days of completing your Certified Reliability Leader or Certified Maintenance Manager workshops.

CRL Black Belt AwardCRL Black Belt Award


Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions and Start Scheduling New Levels of Reliability Performancereliabilityweb.com

This article is based on the Cbl or Competency Based Learning Passport, in the Certified Reliability Leader Body of Knowledge based on Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System.

Certified Reliability Leader Body of Knowledge based on Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System

A series of live, instructor led online workshops from one-hour, one-day and three-days are offered on a. Regular schedule and posted in the Reliabilityweb.com events calendar.

Terrence O'Hanlon

Terrence O’Hanlon, CMRP, and CEO of Reliabilityweb.com® and Publisher for Uptime® Magazine, is an asset management leader, specializing in reliability and operational excellence. He is a popular keynote presenter and is the coauthor of the book, 10 Rights of Asset Management: Achieve Reliability, Asset Performance and Operational Excellence. www.reliabilityweb.com

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